Former Marine 2d Lt Ilario G Pantano was exonerated last year in a preliminary hearing conducted at Camp Lejeune, NC, of charges that he killed two Iraqi prisoners in cold blood. Although he was a veteran of the previous Persian Gulf War, serving in the front line as a sergeant, he had only been in Iraq for a few months. He had joined immediately after 9/11.
His accuser was Sgt Daniel Coburn, serving in the same rifle platoon under Lt Pantano's command. The military tribunal found that Sgt Coburn was "not credible" in his accusations. However, Pantano's military career options were ended.
Now, Pantano has written a book. Good move. It is entitled: WARLORD: NO BETTER FRIEND, NO WORSE ENEMY. The book describes the combat and the litigation.
One of the appeals of the Warrior Ethos is the fact that if you are deadly, you really can be potent as a friend. Most of us are "weak friends", and this is the place setting in which I find myself regretfully seated.
The worst that has been said of Pantano, and his response -- restraint, writing a detailed book -- convinces me of his greatness. I also notice that Pantano's former attorney, Mr. Charles W. Gittins of San Diego, is on record hoping Pantano runs for office. Attorneys know things about their clients and it's a good bet that a person who knows "things" about a former client, and having no duty or benefit to himself in expressing such a hope, would not make such an endorsement unless it was righteous.
My god it would be great to see men and women lead us who KNOW how gray and intense the choices in war can be. The LACK of military bearing on the part of Rowe/ Cheney/ Bush and their uninformed Congressional overseers may "explain" (but not justify) the chaotic disgrace which is their legacy to America.
Draft Ilario Patano into Office! Please. Now.
- Did Socrates say "Know Thyself", or was he misunderstood, as all are. Show Thyself is all we can do. The knowing is unknowable. I am filled with joy. It can't be helped.
Became a Farmer, Builder, Musician, Tank Commander, Librarian, Lawyer and Minister. I have failed at many things. And now retired. Filled, just filled, with Joy.